It’s a universal truth, no matter how amazing your product is after sales service is critical to stay in consumer-centric business. Apple has fared far better than any other organization across length and breadth of business, its scaling new heights and I am sure they are the best in business but my experience has been terrible with the service and the product. I will write series of events with apple product ownership in this blog, I am still impressed with the product though but really not convinced of long-term relationship with Apple
Note: I have iPhone 5s right now, my iPhone 4s couldn’t survive more than 1.5 months. My wife has iPhone 6s, no issues and an Apple Macbook Pro, just 3 months ownership and it has issues.
I bought iPhone 5s in June/July of 2016, the first couple of months, absolutely brilliant and to protect this aspirational product I had put screen guard worth Rs 2500/-, sounds crazy, isn’t it?. Issues started in Mar-17, phone hanged on me several times and eventually froze. It would charge, do everything but I can’t use the touchscreen, how irritating it can be, you see that important call on screen but can’t pick it up.
Mar-17: I took it for service to Tresor System (South Point Mall, Gurgaon), authorized service provider of Apple products. My first-hand experience, they absolutely have nothing to do with service, young boys simply checking and logging tickets, no empathy, no smile. Before visiting the center wife made a call to inquire about store timings and the response was horrible, he was shouting as why did I call.
Anyways, after the initial inspection, I was told that phone will be sent to Bangalore and nothing can be done locally. Before the submission, they would simply scare you, a customer has to pay Rs 2500 /- if it voids the warranty on account of spillage or accidental damage and the phone will also not be repaired. You charge for inspection but say it in right manner please, I am your customer, not a beggar.
I did enquire about a loaner phone though which was not considered at all. Luckily my phone was repaired, got it back in 5 days, good communication from Apple, product delivered as per the timelines. I again got a new screen guard but this time for Rs 500/- only, I still value the product and want to protect.
May-17: My iPhone 5s is dying on me again, it refuses to charge and when it does, the battery will drain out in few minutes and at times while the battery indicator shows red, the phone continues to work. At least 4-5 times in a day, it will unexpectedly reboot, it’s time again to visit service center.
17th May 2017: I visited the service center and iPhone again went through an inspection and then came the final nail in the coffin, they have to format and I had to agree. Once again, I lost everything, the most difficult part is getting exchange email up again. It took an hour for service center guys to format, I was called for the final verdict. We have restored the system but not sure if the problem is resolved, you can check. I repeatedly asked, is the problem solved or not, they said no and I have to send it to Bangalore again. You must be kidding, I got this phone to use and not send again and again to Bangalore for vacation.
I enquired about escalation process and they had none, I was simply asked to call customer care, I came back as defeated soldier who was not even given an opportunity to fight. I must tell again, service boys standing on the counter don’t smile at all, no customer centricity and it’s a repeat experience.
I moved on and called customer care for any assistance, I simply wanted people to hear my concern and do something about it. Customer care explained it in a simple manner, they only support software and for all other issues, I need to go back to service center. The lady (Yasmeen) I was speaking with had to put on me hold multiple times to seek a solution, she didn’t have any. Eventually, I was given a supervisor (Asif), he didn’t have any clue on my issue, I had to explain it again to him. It was getting difficult for them to handle me because all I wanted was a solution and they had none.
Finally, I had to be affirmative, here is my demand, I want a replacement phone and someone responsible I can speak with and I was promised a callback by a manager and I did get a call, much appreciated.
At 8:30 PM, a Singapore number flashed on my phone and it was a manager (Puneet) from Apple, I was surprised to get a call at 8:30 pm because I didn’t confirm it. Calling at 8:30 pm is extremely unprofessional however I went ahead with the call. He weaved a story for 15 min, spoke about warranty and other stuff which I couldn’t relate. I had to stop him and raise my voice, asked him, do you really know why you are calling me. He went on and asked for a ticket no which no one gave me. I put across my demand, need a replacement phone and he simply said, can’t be done and I have to go back to service center.
I also enquired about a process to share feedback, I was told they don’t have any email address and I have to visit apple.com/feedback and write about it which I am sure will go to junk mailbox. Eventually, I hung the call stating I will approach consumer court.
Can’t imagine going back Tresor and see those young souls simply standing and staring at customers, I guess they have been trained to behave like a robot. I continue to observe my phone, it’s been manageable so far and when it will simply die on me, will send it to Bangalore.
Conclusion: In 10 months of ownership, the phone has been formatted twice ( I lost everything), sent to Bangalore once and it will be sent again. Did I really pay a premium price to own a product or go through the hostile experience. I am not sure if my demands are unrealistic but the voice must be heard.
Other products experience:
- iPhone 4s: Simply died after 1.5 years of ownership, IMEI no got erased on its own.
- iPhone 6s: So far so good, have no issues
- MacBook Pro: Three months of ownership and battery won’t charge. The diagnostic run by Tresor guys have indicated a problem with battery & motherboard and they will take 3-4 days to fix it.
I have to visit the service center again for Macbook Pro, not sure how this experience will be.
Update 10/06: iPhone 5s went for service again on the last day warranty, I had no other option. After 5 I was informed that my phone has been replaced. I collected the new phone from Tresor guys, so far so good but overall experienremainsain what it was.